Lets get started.....
This series is like The Weekly CISSP but will completely focus on wireless technologies. It does not follow a specific certification but rather generally useful topics. The approach I’m taking with this is to teach it as if the reader/listener is completely new to this technology.
However, as the articles/episodes progress they will go deeper and deeper into the details. So, if I don’t elaborate on something now it is because it is not super relevant to the topic at hand and I don’t want to go on a tangent constantly.
I do want to give a disclaimer here that I do not have a “super duper amazing crazy pretty much invented it” level of knowledge regarding wireless technology. I am always learning more and as I go through my learning process I am sharing the knowledge with you.
So, getting right into the first article of this series I’ll be going over a brief introduction to wireless AKA WiFi and a bit of wireless history.
If I were to ask you right now what Wi-Fi stands for do you know the answer?
Well it stands for wireless fidelity but has no real formal meaning. It is just a marketing term for wireless technologies. Also take note that what we call wireless is actually radio frequencies (RFs).
Another term you will want to be familiar with is I—triple—E or the letters IEEE. This stands for the “Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers” This organization designates the standard by which wireless LANs operate. This standard is 802.11. There are many organizations and regulatory bodies that govern the use of wireless and being familiar with them is a big help if you ever intend to work with wireless.
Now some extremely brief historical background:
Wireless as we know it today has its origins in the discovery and development of radio frequencies.
What is a radio frequency?
Here is a direct quote coming from wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_frequency
The first wireless network was called ALOHAnet and was developed in 1970 to provide communication between the Hawaiian Islands. It originally used two frequencies with a hub configuration where packets would be broadcast to all machines in the outbound channel. ALOHAnet laid the groundwork for Media Access Control (MAC) technologies of CSMA/CD of ethernet & CSMA/CA of 802.11 standard. CSMA stands for Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection or Collision Avoidance.
It was not until the 1990’s when commercial networking vendors started to crop up and find use for the new tech and by 1997 the IEEE ratified the original 802.11 standard. As time moved on and more uses to include home use became popular the 802.11 standard would continuously be updated to allow for faster and more reliable communication.
One thing to note though is that the IEEE 802.11 standard was more of a framework for wireless communications and therefore various networking vendors could interpret and implement the standard differently. This ended up causing vendor interoperability issues even though their devices were 802.11 compliant. To solve this dilemma the organization “Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) was created and they further defined the IEEE standard to force interoperability. WECA is now known as the Wi-Fi Alliance.
Alright everyone that is it for today’s introduction and history of wireless. I know I did not go super deep but i like to keep it simple at the start. If you do want more then hit up the links below.